Learning Analytics: The Emergence of a Discipline

David T. Jones, Drape's Takes, Sept 04, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Jones wades through a recent paper from George Siemens on learning analytics (link - requires a subscription) (it's interesting how he over time Siemens has embraced the academic form and become much more traditional in his approach, while I on the other hand have more and more eschewed the form, and become much less traditional in my own approach (most would call my approach a 'career-limiting move' but I yam what I yam)). Anyhow I think that in the main I side more with Jones that Siemens here. First, as Jones writes, there is the "biggest niggle" that stems from trying to merge something complex like big data with "a very traditional teleological/enterprise conception of organisational implementation." And second, "Ellul’s argument that technique and technical processes strive for the 'mechanisation of everything it encounters'" versus "the need to keep human and social processes central."

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